JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: EYAL ON WORKING WITH PRODUCERS
First of all, I have to say, if you’re into Muse then check out their new album, The Resistance, which comes out today. It’s fucking brilliant. They always manage to take a different approach from album to album, and this one continues on that path. Anyways, its great stuff and I recommend it highly.
I’ve had music writing on my mind a lot these days. Maybe its because I have a lot on my plate. The record I’m doing with Emil from DAATH and Cynic’s Sean Reinert needs to be delivered by the first of the year. It’s going to be released in the spring of 2010. My side project wants to record an EP of still to be written material this December. And last but not least, DAATH is looking to go into the studio in April to record our next one. We’d like for it to be out by the end of Summer 2010.
That’s a shit load of music to write in a very short period of time if you consider that we’re still touring. Some advice I get from people is “Don’t rush.” That’s good advice. None of this is going to be rushed and it will all get what it needs and wants so that it can grow into the work of art it deserves to become. I think I’ve figured out how to write on the road and this next tour will be the perfect situation for that. We are sharing the bus with a straightedge band. Can’t be partying like usual because my health could relapse. Instead of staring into space and wishing I could party, I’ll occupy my time with creative things. So I’ll be writing music on the road. And a lot of it!
As an artist, there’s always that little voice in my head, which says that the past work isn’t worthy anymore and that I can kill it. My logical voice says that the prior works were works that we put our all into, and they represent who we were at the time through the filter of whatever producer we were working with. I believe both. I believe both to the core.
Anytime you are working with a producer, you are giving up a little bit of your artistic purity in order to gain their sound and insight. In some cases it works, in others it doesn’t. That’s still an issue we’re wrestling with. Just how much say can someone else have on our music? It’s a tough question, and I think I’m starting to understand how to deal with it. There’s some factors involved that go beyond the cut and dry, “play it like this” or f”uck that part it’s not good enough” or “you need to completely re-write this.” There’s ego involved. I’m not going to make a value judgment on this, but I’ll say that sometimes musicians get very close to what they write. And understandably so. If it truly came from a deep place in them, then of course if a producer axes their part it’s like axing a part of them. I’ve felt that sting before. I think all of us who have recorded under a producer have.
But you know what? Sometimes you just have to let things go. Realize that it’s just your ego talking, and if your producer and the rest of the band are saying something sucks ,then trust them. People can get very emotional about their music when dealing with producers and other band members. If their parts aren’t used or they’re not allowed to play certain parts, it can really bruise them. So in our pre-production process, we are very brutal with each other. We tell each other that shit sucks all the time. We work together to try and make things better. And we have conditioned ourselves to be able to edit out parts that aren’t cutting it, despite whatever emotional attachment we might have for the part. Our core goal is simple with what we’re about to do musically. We want to blow our own minds. We want to be blown the fuck away by what we just did. And we hope that if it blows us away, it’ll blow you away.
We haven’t been blown away by our own work yet. That’s not to take away from it, but we still feel like our best work is ahead of us. So now that you know what’s on mine and DAATH’s plate for the next little while, and you also know some issues we’ve had to overcome, I have a question for you guys. In your bands, or friend’s bands, or workplaces, or wherever in whatever situation, have you guys ever noticed ego getting in the way of progress? How so? Give me some stories.
Daath is touring Europe right now with Chimaira, Unearth, and Throwdown. Get a complete list of tour dates on Daath’s MySpace page.